Author Topic: Food Co-op Idea  (Read 3555 times)


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Food Co-op Idea
« on: June 10, 2009, 10:28:11 AM »
In my local community, we have a customer-owned local food co-op that specializes in healthy, mostly organic and local foods.  You pay a small, completely refundable amount to become an owner, and this money is used as capital to support the store.  All profits go into supporting the store and anything after that is shared equally among the owners based on how much you have bought on your account.  Owners receive a benefit package upon joining with free items and coupons, as well as discounts and special services throughout the year.

On my way to buy some food there yesterday, I was listening to the show on food storage and began to think about how the co-op could be a solution to a community's survival food storage.  If a group of people or small community worked together, they could build a warehouse full of food that would supply a local co-op for normal times.  This co-op would probably be based on the model I mentioned above.  If the SHTF, though, the warehouse would stop resupply of the co-op.  Owners would then have the right to use food in the warehouse for themselves and their families.  Food left in the co-op could be shared with the community or used in some other way as agreed upon by the owners.  If the disaster were long term, the co-op could act as a focal point to rebuild a small market using produce and goods produced by the community.

I think that this could be a good idea for survival preparations, even though I would certainly want to keep a personal supply of food as well.  Using this model, though, it does seem that you would be able to have more, since people working together on specialized roles can produce more than individuals alone.  The warehouse would probably have a much larger capacity than the sum of the owners' own storage facilities.  Additionally, it would help to build relationships and a network to promote community-sufficiency, rather than self-sufficiency alone, which could be very valuable during an actual disaster scenario.

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts on this idea; hopefully someone can actually implement it!

Offline LGM30

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Re: Food Co-op Idea
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2009, 04:57:14 PM »
I really don't want to be a nay sayer but here are a couple concerns.  I like the idea but fear it could work.
I would fear it being seized by the government, or being forced to defend it with deadly force.  Defending your home is one thing, defending a warehouse could put you on a slippery slope should it not be a completely end of the world scenario.

I also question finding a sufficient number of preppers trusting enough to put a sufficient amount of their stock together in a known remote location.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Food Co-op Idea
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2009, 05:15:07 PM »
Welcome.  Why not head over to the intro thread an introduce yourself.

As for your idea, on the surface it looks like a good idea.  But I fear that LGM30 may be right.  If you had to defend it with deadly force, you could end up in prison.  It's one thing to defend your home, it's another entirely to defend a warehouse full of stuff.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Food Co-op Idea
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2009, 07:53:01 PM »
I have been thinking about something similar to this. Since moving to the DFW area, I have really missed my co-op from the last home. Apparently, the co-op company I used to deal with will not deliver to small co-op groups in this area due to non-compete agreements they have with businesses here in the area (major bummer). So... I recently found out about a private business where a person can buy grain in bulk and went there to check it out. While the grain in the buckets was fine, the place was quite messy and there were lots of wiggly little worms crawling around on the lid of my bucket that I had to clean well when I got home. The place was just so messy that it really creeped me out.

It occurred to me that there may actually be a good market for a good grain supplier for the area [you know, one that didn't have rodent droppings or wormy stuff all over the product when it was given to the customer]. Perhaps there are enough of us living in the area to warrant the purchase of a truckload of grain from a grain-producing area? I think the shipping costs would be fairly reasonable if we had larger quantities shipped in each load to the area.

Alternatively, it might be a good business opportunity... I was thinking about that, too.

Offline ogreboy

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Re: Food Co-op Idea
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2009, 04:55:50 PM »
I had a similar idea but instead of a normal co-op, it is more of a community store.  Local people bring there good and crops to the store and get trade credit for store goods.  For people that don't have things to contribute you could decide weather or not you would allow money to be traded for credit.  It would need a supply of goods to get it started but after that it would be self sustaining.  At some point you may need to turn away a single product that you have over stock of, or find some way to sell it on the 'real' market.  This kind of store would work very well for people that did not have a traditional source of income.  In an ideal situation there would never have to be any money trading hands.  If you had a large enough group, it could support several farmers, blacksmiths, mechanics, teachers.

Even above and beyond that the real vision was to have a bank also, to back the community.   People would be encouraged to use gold and silver to trade for credits, and the gold would be stored in a bank to back the community store, you could take gold or silver in return for your goods if you didn't need anything from the store.  You could set up a fee to join the co-op and that would be where the backing for the bank would grow from.  This wouldn't be a monetary system or a new currency but rather a barter system that included gold and silver. As for the protection of the goods, banks have security guards so do malls and all sorts of stores, I don't see any issue with defending your goods be it at your home or business.  I know the guy at my local coin store has 2 .45s on his belt for all to see. The fine details would have to be put together based on the individual situation but I think it would evolve naturally as it grew.


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Re: Food Co-op Idea
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 11:49:35 AM »
I really don't want to be a nay sayer but here are a couple concerns....  I would fear it being seized by the government
It has happened already. Swat Team Conducts "Food Raid" in Rural Ohio
The Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food cooperative called Manna Storehouse
on the western side of the greater Cleveland area for many years......
Over ten thousand dollars worth of food was taken, including the family’s personal stock of food for the coming year.....
Presumably Manna Storehouse might eventually be charged with running a retail establishment without a license. Why then the Gestapo-type interrogation for a 3rd degree misdemeanor charge? This incident has raised the ominous specter of a restrictive new era in State regulation and enforcement over the nation’s private food supply.

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Food Co-op Idea
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 01:18:50 PM »
It has happened already. Swat Team Conducts "Food Raid" in Rural Ohio
what a story
I didn't expect this to begin for a few more years.